During my sophomore year I knew that I wanted to apply for internships for the summer, but I didn’t know where to go and if I would even get in.
In my mind the name Stanford instantly
appeared and as quick as it came my hands seemed to already
be typing ‘ctrl + F Stanford’. With every key stroke I could feel
myself getting more and more excited. Then there it was, the
Stanford Summer Research Program (SSRP). That summer
after my sophomore year I worked in Dr. Nidhi Bhutani’s
laboratory as part of the SSRP investigating the regulation of DNA methylation in tissue-specific gene silencing. I was super excited to be there and had a great time, but as I discovered like everyone else there I also felt like I didn’t belong at times. They talked a lot about Imposter Syndrome and they challenged us to ask the scientists there about if they had dealt with this concept before. I was amazed at how these scientists living the dream of many people felt the same misplacement that I did. This program also showed me for the first time in my life how uplifting a diversified environment within science can be. Being in this program and seeing how hard everyone was pushing for diversity in science made me want to start going a step further and do the same. I later presented how this project worked to understand how transcription factors could be influencing DNA modification at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) (Phoenix, AZ). During this research experience, I learned to design an experiment, and to critically analyze scientific literature. This challenging experience prepared me to continue in research and gave me a better appreciation for the hard work of a scientist. How I got into the second program I can only describe as a blessing.